Convincing clients of the value of traditional media

All the energy surrounding social media and mobile devices may lure clients into thinking those channels are the place to allocate budget, leaving media relations behind. They'd be wrong.

This week, my colleague Lisa Noble and I have written about why traditional media still matters and how media consumption continues to evolve. Hopefully, most PRWeek readers grasp why and how traditional media should continue to be an important part of an integrated strategy.

Clients, on the other hand, might be indifferent. All the energy surrounding social media and mobile devices today may lure them into thinking those channels are the place to allocate budget, leaving media relations behind.

We all know our success depends first upon selling our ideas to the client. Since that's not always easy, consider these key points when discussing the ongoing importance of traditional media with your clients:

1. PESO: Clients increasingly need to demonstrate the integration of their marketing strategy across channels, what's now commonly known as the PESO (paid, earned, shared, owned) marketing mix. Without the earned part, your PESO doesn't go as far. Earned media hits can be something of a lynchpin to your PESO model. Without them, you have no integrated strategy.

2. Credibility: Earned media hits provide third-party credibility and a halo effect for your client's brand. People tend to remember and share something they saw in a major news source, more so than a blog post.

3. Consumption: Over the last five years, Americans' media consumption grew 5% annually. By 2015, consumption of both traditional and digital media is projected to reach a massive 1.7 trillion hours. That's more than 15 hours per person per day, according to a 2013 report produced by the Institute for Communications Technology at the USC Marshall School of Business. 

4. Domino effect: Landing the right hit with a news organization that's a media driver can lead to a domino effect of other media outlets wanting to cover the story, too. Suddenly, getting coverage becomes easier.

5. Social sharing: Wouldn't you love to tout that Today hit through your client's Facebook and Twitter accounts? Wouldn't you love to give your agency a reason to also share it? Yeah, media hits make social sharing easy and fun. And sharing your coverage via social amplifies the credibility/halo effect.

Integration is key. Creating and executing an integrated PR and marketing campaign is the best way to ensure success. Indeed, we can reach consumers more directly than ever before. You and your clients can do a lot with paid advertising, social channels, and branded blogs. However, the earned placements in traditional media still do wonders to amplify your overall strategy, and enable you to plant a stake in the ground.

How do you sell the value of traditional media relations to your clients?

Dan Verakis is SVP and director of public relations at Cramer-Krasselt.

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